Today’s guest pictures was sent by Bruce. It shows a nice shot of the isle of Arran where his son got married recently.
It would have been quite a pleasant day today if we had been in October. As we were in December, it was a lovely day, warm and dry and with hardly a breath of wind. Dropscone and I went round the morning run, cycling past a strikingly pink sunrise on our way. Dropscone remarked over coffee afterwards that since we are both now 72, in combination with each other, we make up a gross. I spent some time trying to work out whether t being a gross was a good or bad thing.
I took a few bird pictures while I was pondering. We had a variety of bird visitors today.
The combination of meeting quarry lorries on the wider roads and doing the morning run, which uses narrow paths and roads, covered with fallen leaves and farm mud, had left my bike very dirty so I gave everything a good clean after coffee. I should do this after every outing in the winter months but as it involves both bending and hard work, somehow it rarely seems to get to the top of my to do list.
After lunch, I went for a walk with Sandy as Wednesday is his day off work. We drove a mile out of town, parked the car and set off for a woodland walk with camera in hand.
There was moss (and lichen) of many sorts to be seen as we got out of the car.
Our route took us past some curiously entwined birch trees.
Perhaps these are trees which have been coppiced at one time and then the separate shoots have grown together over the years. I am open to advice from anyone who has more knowledge than me.
We walked on through younger birch trees…
…though from time time, we came to clearings in which old oak trees took pride of place.
The birches gave way to oaks and as we came to the edge of the wood the sun came out and the colours looked lovely.
There is something irresistibly attractive (to me at anyway) about open woodland on grassy knolls and banks.
A placid robin sat on a fence post unmoved as we crashed about nearby.
We were looking for fungi and some were hard to miss….
…while others took a little more looking for.
One bare tree stump made for an interesting picture.
Part of our walk was along an old railway line and next to the track there are several fallen conifers, blown over by the wind. They are so shallow rooted that it is more amazing that any stand up than that some get blown down.
Sometimes, looking straight at the discs of the uprooted trees, they don’t look like a root system at all.
The pictures don’t do justice to the pleasure that this short walk in December sunshine provided. We may not get another such good day for months.
As we walked back to the car, we passed a spot where the council has stupidly tried to put a road down and has spoiled some perfectly good potholes.
You can tell that government ministers do not drive along here very often.
We had a cup of tea and a biscuit when we got home and then Sandy went off and I got organised for the final choir practice before the first of our two concerts. Mrs Tootlepedal was working and I got our tea ready as she only had a moment or two to spare to eat it bef0re it was time to leave for my second visit to Newcastleton of the week. It is a sixteen mile drive so it was very cheering to find a welcoming church, well heated and with helpful people on hand to make sure that we had everything we needed.
The choir had just enough space to be able to sit in the area where we are going to sing so there won’t have to be any fidgeting about and changing places once the concert starts which is always a bonus. Our conductor is recovering from a recent hernia operation and is doing heroically in even being able to stand up let alone conduct us.
We had a good run through the programme and if we manage to remember all the things we have been told, the concert should go well. We are hoping for a good audience.
A chaffinch beat off all comers for the position of flying bird of the day.